Recipe first, tidbits second. Enjoy!


Hot Spiced Milk

Comfortingly warm and flavorful, hot spiced milk is a classic beverage for any evening. With its creamy texture, simple ingredients, and no added sugar it’s a better alternative to hot cocoa in many ways. Pair it with fresh chocolate chip cookies or enjoy it as a standalone nightcap and experience its soothing effects for yourself.

  • Author: Carol the Cook
  • Prep Time: 1 Minute
  • Cook Time: 9 Minutes
  • Total Time: 10 Minutes
  • Yield: 2 Cups 1x
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stove & Oven
  • Cuisine: American


  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 drops vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch cinnamon


  1. Warm milk in medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until foamy, about 9 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Pour milk into mugs and add 1 drop of vanilla extract to each mug.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and serve immediately.


  • To boil or not to boil? – Milk has a habit of boiling over when you’re not looking. Keep an eye out for bubbles and feel free to serve even before it’s foamy.
  • Milk Skin – As milk is heated its proteins and fat molecules undergo a chemical reaction that causes a solid skin to form on top; this skin is perfectly safe to eat albeit a little chewy. If you prefer, remove the skin with a spoon before serving.

Keywords: Hot Milk, Cinnamon, Vanilla

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This Recipe’s Roots

Despite its centuries-old reputation as a remedy for better sleep, I only recently discovered the joys of hot spiced milk. I don’t know what compelled me, probably all the historical fiction I’ve been reading lately, but the other night I poured some milk in a saucepan and stood there stirring it, completely entranced by its swirls. Not until the darn thing started boiling over and smoking up the kitchen did I actually stop to think what I meant to do with it.

Being late and me being overly tired like every other parent in the world, I did the simplest thing I could think of – I poured it in a cup and drank it.

It. Was. Delicious.

So delicious I decided to drink the rest. I mustered the energy to add some cinnamon and vanilla for round two and it did not disappoint.

Thrilled by my “discovery,” I made some for my family the next day and they loved it just as much as I do. I have a feeling hot spiced milk is going to become a regular thing around here…

Taking a Closer Look

9 times out of 10 I’d be willing to bet you have all the ingredients you need to make this recipe on hand in your kitchen.

Milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Could it get any simpler?

I don’t even bother measuring anything when I make this recipe. I just pour as much milk as I want in a saucepan of an appropriate size and heat it up until it’s frothy. This makes for a brilliantly easy, festive drink for a large holiday crowd with virtually no cleanup.

Dress it up with fancy mugs or saucers (aren’t these beautiful?), throw in a cinnamon stick, and be amazed by how well received this classic beverage is at any holiday party. I don’t know why people think hot spiced milk is so fancy but they do. Maybe it’s the delicious taste or the decadent texture, either way this drink couldn’t be easier to make.

An added bonus? Drinking hot spiced milk helps people relax thanks to a sense of warm fullness and certain compounds like tryptophan (the same thing that’s in turkey). What a perfect way to end a party – full and happy.

What I Like Most About This Recipe

There are two specific things I love about this recipe.

Number one – I don’t have to measure anything. Or even really think for that matter. Just pour some milk in a saucepan whenever you’re ready and that’s it. More people just showed up to the party unexpectedly? Pour in some more milk and you’re good to go.

No planning, no prep, no loud blender noises. Just a soothing drink made in an equally soothing, old-fashioned way.

Number two – hot spiced milk is a great alternative to hot cocoa for any kind of children’s holiday party. Let’s be honest, children eat a LOT of sweets at parties. Cookies, candies, gingerbread house walls before you have a chance to assemble them. The last thing they need is more sugar. This warm drink serves up something festive without the ensuing sugar fallout.

Hot spiced milk in a Christmas scene.

Leftover Thoughts

Why did it take me so long to discover hot spiced milk? Sometimes the simplest things really are the best.

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